Curious Minds

What will you discover?

Keep your brain active with free online resources, as recommended by tutors and staff at the Department.

Visit the world’s museums, libraries, language centres and more – and give your brain a workout – all from your own home. Compiled by academics and staff of Oxford Continuing Education, these freely available educational resources will help entertain you during challenging times.

The 'Tutor Takeover' will be updated every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and the entire page refreshed regularly – so please bookmark and check back regularly.  Sign up to our enewsletter to learn when new resources have been added.

Tutor takeover

David Griffiths recommends a digital repository for heritage data.

David Griffiths, Associate Professor in Archaeology, recommends the Archaeology Data Service (ADS). As stated on their website: 'The ADS is an accredited digital repository for heritage data that supports research, learning and teaching with freely available, high quality and dependable digital resources by preserving and disseminating digital date in the long term'. Explore the archive and library, discover research projects, or dive in to ARCHSEARCH - an online catalogue indexing over 1.3 million metadata records, including ADS collections and metadata harvested from UK historic environment inventories.

> Archaeology Data Service


Woolf Online 

Carly Watson, Departmental Lecturer in Literature and Arts, recommends the Woolf Online project - a digital archive of Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse (1927). The site contains images and transcriptions of the holograph drafts along with the typescripts, proofs, and various early editions of the novel. Also included is a myriad of contextual materials, such as letters and diary entries, early reviews of the novel, photographs, and selected essays Woolf wrote during the two- year period during which she worked on To the Lighthouse.

> Woolf Online 

Archaeology and architectural history research

For those interested in archaeology and architectural history, Archaeology Tutor and Research Associate Olaf Bayer recommends the following free research publications by Historic England and its precursor organisations English Heritage and the Royal Commission on Historic Monuments England.

> English Heritage monographs

> Historic England research reports

> Historic England recent research

Google's Arts and Culture: Bauhaus and Le Corbusier

Claire O'Mahony, Associate Professor in the History of Art and Design, says: 'Google's Arts and Culture projects are a treasure trove of architecture, art and design virtual resources. If you are trying to think through what Modernism was, the Bauhaus project offers fascinating insights into the student creativity and the innovative teaching strategies at this famous design school in the interwar years and its impact across the world after its closure by the Nazis in 1933'. O'Mahony also recommends the Le Corbusier project as it 'is full of wonderful 360 degree views of this controversial architect's iconic buildings.'

> Google's Arts and Culture: Bauhaus

> Google's Arts and Culture: Le Corbusier

The William Blake Archive

Ben Grant, Departmental Lecturer in English Literature, recommends The William Blake Archive. Inspired by the Rossetti Archive (a previous Curious Minds resource), the Archive provides a huge wealth of resources related to the poet, engraver and artist. Discover illuminated books, illustrations, prints, manuscripts, paintings and drawings, along with scholarly materials and the Hell's Printing Press blog.

> The William Blake Archive

Heritage Open Days

Heritage Open Days is England's largest festival of history and culture, bringing together over 2,000 organisations, 5,500 events and 46,000 volunteers. Every year in September, places across the country throw open their doors to celebrate their heritage, community and history. It’s your chance to see hidden places and try out new experiences – and it’s all free. This year, as well as any in-person opportunities possible within government guidelines, online events will be offered for the first time. Online offerings include taking a virtual tour of the Liskeard Station signal box, going (virtually) behind the scenes at a recycling centre, or going for a stroll around Wisbech in Cambridgeshire using Minecraft.

> Heritage Open Days

Other parts of the UK are also offering online events throughout September. For Wales visit Open Doors Online; for Scotland visit Doors Open Days; and for Nothern Ireland see European Heritage Open Days

Museo Frida Kahlo

Popularly known as the Casa Azul (the ‘Blue House’), the Museo Frida Kahlo in Mexico City is dedicated to the life and works of the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. Explore a myriad of artworks, photographs, collections and exhibitions; learn more about Kahlo by downloading a biography; or take a virtual tour of the Blue House

> Museo Frida Kahlo

iF Oxford Science + Ideas Festival

From Thursday 1 to Saturday 31 October, iF Oxford, the city’s science and ideas festival, presents more than 100 online events for you to enjoy from home. Covering dance, film, debates, demonstrations and hands-on activities - there is something for all ages to enjoy. The Festival: 'brings together real time cutting-edge research from world-leading academics with wide-ranging events to excite the imagination. Festival-goers can uncover big ideas and ask even bigger questions about science, humanity, the world at large and beyond'. The majority of events are free to attend, with donations being welcome using the Festival’s Pay What You Decide system.

> iF Oxford Science + Ideas Festival

Florence Nightingale

This year marks the bicentenary of Florence Nightingale’s birth and in honour of this, the World Health Organisation have named 2020 the Year of the Nurse and Midwife. Nightingale is respected worldwide for her pioneering role in developing the nursing profession, her statistical work, and her evidence-based approach to healthcare. Discover more about her life and legacy by exploring the 200 Objects, People & Places exhibition online. 

> Florence Nightingale: 200 Objects, People & Places

WRITE Where We Are NOW

The WRITE Where We Are NOW project, created by British poet and playwright Carol Ann Duffy and the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University, was formed to bring together poets from the around during the Covid-19 crisis. As stated on the project's website: 'Our poets were invited to write directly about the pandemic or about the personal situation they found themselves in during lockdown. The collection features poems written from the earliest stages of the pandemic up until 30th June 2020. The poems are presented in date order and each includes a note about where it was written. They will remain online as a permanent creative, historical and sociological record of these extraordinary and challenging times.'

> WRITE Where We Are NOW

Previous recommendations

Resources from past weeks are now being collected in three new pages: 'Explore' (for visiting museums and archives), 'Enjoy' (for reading, watching and listening) and 'Have a go' (for hands-on learning and activities).